Skip to content

Lack of letter grades not big issue for most parents, says Delta PAC chair

Parent advisory council chair says there hasn't been much negative feedback to result of teachers' job action

The lack of letter grades for Delta students isn't a big problem for most parents, says the chair of the Delta Parent Advisory Council.

The first report card of the school year issued last week does not contain the usual information parents have come to expect, including academic progress in specific subject areas and information on other matters such as personal planning, physical health and effort.

Instead, a simple note on student attendance is all that's been included.

The thin report cards are due to the ongoing teachers' job action.

Saying there hasn't been much in the way of negative feedback from parents, Lisa Leblanc told the Optimist teachers in Delta have done a good job communicating what's taking place regarding the job action, as well as keeping in touch with parents if a student is having problems.

"We've been getting that word out as well. From personal experience, I've had great communication with my kid's teacher (at South Park Elementary) throughout the fall. Most of the people I've spoken to have had the same," she said.

"It's definitely a switch from the norm not to have a normal report card, but it's not disastrous. I think there's generally an understanding that assessment is continuous in many different formats."

Leblanc said teachers are still providing letter grades for students getting close to graduation and requiring them for official transcripts.

A letter by Delta superintendent Dianne Turner noted teachers are still carrying out their normal classroom work, such as planning, teaching and assessing student progress.

Teachers are also communicating student progress to the students through individual feedback on assignments, tests and other indicators.

Parents who have questions regarding their children's progress are encouraged to contact their teachers, said Turner.

The B.C. Labour Relations Board recently dismissed an application by the B.C. Public School Employers' Association to order teachers to do report cards.

BCTF President Susan Lambert said, "Although report cards are an important tool, they are not essential. They are only one way in which teachers communicate students' progress to parents. Face-toface, phone conversations, e-mails, handwritten notes, quiz results sent home - many different kinds of informal communication are providing parents with a clear understanding of their children's progress. Some parents have told us they feel better informed this way than with the traditional formal reporting."

The teachers' contract expired June 30 and limited job action began at the start of the school year in September.

In a recent interview, Delta Teachers' Association president Paul Steer said he's hoping there won't be any further phases of job action and that a collective agreement is reached.

"Government needs to demonstrate its commitment to community, children and families the ideals that it tries to espouse with money, resources and infrastructure to support what's absolutely necessary in public education," Steer said.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks